ANNOUNCE: Gutenprint 5.0.0-beta4

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ANNOUNCE: Gutenprint 5.0.0-beta4

Robert Krawitz-2
Welcome to Gutenprint 5.0.0-beta4!  Please read these release notes

Gutenprint, formerly named Gimp-Print, is a suite of printer drivers
that may be used with most common UNIX print spooling systems,
including CUPS, lpr, LPRng, or others.  These drivers provide high
quality printing for UNIX (including Macintosh OS X 10.2 and 10.3) and
Linux systems that in many cases equal or exceed proprietary
vendor-supplied drivers in quality and functionality, and can be used
for demanding printing tasks requiring flexibility and high quality.
This software package includes the Print plug-in for the GIMP and
Ghostscript and CUPS drivers, as well as Foomatic data.

The package has been renamed in order to clearly distinguish it from
the GIMP.  While this package started out as the Print plugin for the
GIMP, it has expanded into a collection of general purpose printer
drivers, and the Print plugin for the GIMP is now only a small (but
important) piece of the package.  Furthermore, the name Gutenprint
recognizes Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable type
printing press.  Finally, the word "guten" means "good" in German.

Gutenprint 5.0.0-beta3 is the third beta prerelease of Gutenprint 5.0.
It is based on the Gimp-Print 4.3 series that has been in development
for over two years, and includes many improvements over the very
popular 4.2 series.  This release is not considered to be a fully
stable release (there are still various things in flux, and it has not
undergone the extensive testing that is required to declare a release
stable), but we've been using it and we believe that it will be useful
for many purposes.

Gutenprint currently contains over 200 drivers supporting in excess of
600 printer models.

The Print plug-in for the GIMP requires the GIMP 1.2.3 or above on the
1.2 line, or the GIMP 2.0 or 2.1.  You may need to install packages
named "gimp-devel", "gtk-devel", and "glib-devel" (or similar
equivalents) on many systems.  This plug-in will work with any
printing system, and offers a comprehensive user interface to control
all aspects of the printing process.

The CUPS driver requires CUPS 1.1.15 or higher.  You may need to
install a package named "cups-devel" or similar on many systems.
Please the rest of the release notes, in particular the Exceptions and
Workarounds, for full details on installation, as there is an
important caveat.  CUPS is the printing system used on Macintosh OS X
10.2 and above, and many other systems use it.  The combination of
CUPS and Gutenprint provides a flexible, general purpose printing
system capable of producing the highest quality output with any of the
printers supported by this package.  We strongly recommend using CUPS
with Gutenprint as a general-purpose printing solution.

The Ghostscript driver requires GNU Ghostscript 6.53 or higher, ESP
Ghostscript 7.05 or higher, or AFPL Ghostscript 7.04 or higher.  It
uses the IJS package included with these versions of Ghostscript to
create a driver that may be built much more easily than traditional
Ghostscript drivers.  The options for this driver are very complex,
and it is normally used with the Foomatic driver integration system.

Users of Macintosh OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and 10.3 (Panther) can use this
package, as the printing system is based on CUPS.  For ease of
installation, a pre-built package with installer is normally supplied
a few days after the release of the source package.  We highly
recommend that OS X users use the pre-built package rather than
attempt to build it themselves.

NOTE: This package will not work with any version of OS X 10.0 and
10.1 (such as 10.1.5), as those systems do not use CUPS as their
printing system.  This is NOT going to be fixed; you must upgrade to
at least OS X 10.2 in order to use this package.  The reason why is
that OS X 10.2 and above use CUPS as the basis of the printing system.
OS X 10.0 and 10.1 use a different system that would require a
separate driver, and we do not plan to write that driver.

* Major changes between Gutenprint 5.0.0 beta 3 and Gutenprint 5.0.0 beta 4:

  1) The Foomatic data generator and ijsgutenprint (the Ghostscript
     driver) now works correctly and supports the full range of
     options.  However, due to Foomatic limitations, additional steps
     may be required to install the data and generate correct PPD
     files.  Please read these instructions carefully if you decide to
     use Foomatic with Gutenprint 5.0.0-beta4.

     * The Foomatic driver is now named "gutenprint-ijs.5.0".  When
       you use foomatic-compiledb, foomatic-combo-xml or
       foomatic-ppdfile, you must specify the driver name
       appropriately.  This permits installation of multiple releases
       of Gutenprint on the same system.

     * Before installing Gutenprint 5.0.0-beta4, you must manually
       remove any existing Foomatic option files.  This is because the
       Foomatic utility to load data kits (foomatic-kitload) does not
       remove obsolete data files from the Foomatic database.  If you
       do not do this, any PPD files you generate will be incorrect
       and printing may work incorrectly or not at all.

       Foomatic option files are usually located in




       Assuming they're in the former location, you must remove data
       files associated with the Gutenprint driver.  The command to do
       this, which must be run as the superuser (root) is

       cd /usr/local/share/foomatic/db/source/opt
       ls -l gutenprint-ijs*.xml

       If there are existing files present, you must remove them:

       rm -f gutenprint-ijs*.xml

       Now check to make sure that they are gone:

       ls -l gutenprint-ijs*.xml

       CAUTION: Be very careful when typing this command!  Minor
       errors in typing these commands may result in severe damage to
       your system.

       After this, you may run 'make install' in your Gutenprint
       source directory to install the package.  You will then need to
       re-create any printer queues using Foomatic.

       In general, you will have to perform this procedure any time
       you install a new version of Gutenprint.

       Please check the Foomatic site
       ( and the Gutenprint
       site ( for updated
       instructions about this.

     * Unlike with the CUPS native driver, there is no simple way to
       update all PPD files when you install a new version of
       Gutenprint.  You must either use the foomatic-ppdfile command
       to upgrade PPD files individually, or foomatic-compiledb to
       build all PPD files.

     * From this point forward, the Foomatic data will be version
       locked to the Gutenprint release installed on the system.  For
       example, PPD files generated with the Foomatic data for this
       release will not work with the ijsgutenprint in the next
       release.  This is to prevent accidentally using incorrect
       data, which could cause incorrect function to take place.

  2) Various problems with the native CUPS driver have been fixed:

     * The driver can now print directly to CD's with Epson printers
       that support this functionality (e. g. the Stylus Photo R300).
       In 5.0.0-beta3 and earlier, attempts to do so would have failed
       with a message in the CUPS error log about options not being
       verified correctly.  If LogLevel=Debug were set in cupsd.conf,
       the options that would have failed to verify would have been
       CDInnerRadius and perhaps PageSize.  There was no workaround
       save to print from the GIMP plugin.  This fixes bug 1179480.

     * It is now possible to select any page size when printing to CD.
       It is still recommended to select CD - 5 inch or CD - 3 inch,
       but other sizes will work and will be treated as a 5 inch CD.
       If the page size selected is larger than 5 inches, the image
       will be cropped to 5 inches; if it is smaller, it will be

       This functionality is specific to the CUPS driver.  In the GIMP
       plugin, the only page sizes permitted are 5 inch and 3 inch CD.

     * An error message ("Unable to get media size") emitted when a
       custom page size was set has been converted to a debug

     * More useful error messages are generated when incorrect
       combinations of options are chosen.  In particular, the
       incorrect options and values are properly identified.

     * The debug messages have been enhanced to allow tracing all
       option settings.

  3) The Epson Stylus Photo R800 and R1800 are now fully supported in
     6-color mode, for resolutions up to 2880x2880 DPI.  The use of
     gloss enhancer is now supported, although not used by default.

     It is likely that further tuning work will be performed on this
     printer, so colors may not be the same as in future releases.

  4) The definitions for the Epson Stylus CX3500, 3600, and 3650 have
     been corrected, and these multi-function devices now work
     correctly.  Additional Epson multi-function devices have also
     been added to the driver.

  5) It is now possible to print to A4-size sheet paper on HP
     DesignJet large-format plotter/printers.

  6) With the Ghostscript driver, it is now possible to select any
     page size when printing to CD.  It is still recommended to select
     CD - 5 inch or CD - 3 inch, but other sizes will work and will be
     treated as a 5 inch CD.  The page will be expanded or shrunk to
     fit (not cropped).

  7) Various improvements have been made to escputil, the command-line
     Epson inkjet printer management utility.  The changes are quite
     extensive, and we would like feedback on their operation.

     * A new extended ink information command has been added.  This
       command, which is supported on printers with separate
       individual ink cartridges, prints additional information about
       the ink cartridge in addition to the amount of ink present.  On
       older printers, it simply returns the standard ink

     * Ink level detection now works on all known supported printers.
       Previously it did not work on some newer printers.  However, it
       is somewhat slower on these printers than it is on older
       printers that support the faster ink detection method.

     * Ink level detection now prints the correct ink color names for
       the printer model.

     * It may be necessary to use the -m option (to specify the
       printer) with certain printers, even with commands such as -i.
       This was previously not the case.  In general, it should not be

     * It is now no longer necessary to use the -u flag with certain
       printers in most cases.  The utility now autodetects the
       printer model and generates appropriate commands in all cases.

       If you supply a printer queue (with the -P option) rather than
       a raw device (with the -r option), you will still need to
       provide the -u flag, as the utility cannot detect the actual
       printer connected to a queue.  However, bidirectional commands
       (ink level, identify, printer status, and alignment) do not
       require the -u flag any more.

     * escputil now successfully detects ink level, printer model, and
       status even if the printer is out of ink.

  8) The CUPS driver offers a new Color Precision option that enables
     use of 16-bit printing with ESP Ghostscript 8.15 or Apple
     Macintosh OS X 10.4 ("Tiger").  Setting Color Precision to "Best"
     enables 16-bit printing if the system supports it; setting it to
     "Normal" uses 8-bit printing.  Setting Color Precision to "Best"
     has no effect if the version of CUPS does not support 16-bit
     printing; in that case, "Best" is still 8-bit.

     The higher precision may improve results with certain source
     material, particularly if it contains smooth color gradients.
     The result would be freedom from banding, particularly in
     highlights where it might be visible with 8-bit color
     computation.  It may be somewhat slower than 8-bit printing.

  9) The Print plugin now functions correctly even if a printer queue
     name contains shell metacharacters.

  10) The IJS-based Ghostscript driver is now installed as
     "ijsgutenprint.5.0".  This permits installation of multiple
     releases of Gutenprint on the same system.

  11) Preliminary support for Epson Colorio PM-G800 and PM-G820
     (Japan-market printers using 1.5 pl drops with traditional photo
     inks).  Also added other recent Japan-market printers assumed to
     be programmatically identical to existing printers.

  12) The old man pages, and src/ghost/README, have been withdrawn.
     These pages, and the Ghostscript README file, were based on the
     Gimp-Print 4.2 options, which were much less fluid than the
     current option system.  It is not practical to keep them up to
     date in any meaningful way.  Our recommendation is that people
     use either the native CUPS driver or Foomatic to manage options
     rather than attempt to create and manage printer queues by hand.

  13) The source browser in the documentation package has been
     removed.  This information, which consists of color-coded source,
     is of little interest to the vast majority of users and consumes
     a significant amount of space in the installation.

Robert Krawitz                                     <[hidden email]>

Tall Clubs International  -- or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail [hidden email]
Project lead for Gimp Print   --

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton
Gimp-developer mailing list
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